Delhi government warns DMRC chief of action over fare hike

Transport minister Kailash Gahlot on Thursday said the government could revoke Delhi metro chief Mangu Singh’s appointment if fares were increased on October 10.

Gahlot reasoned that Singh, being one of the Delhi government’s nominees in Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) board, should not allow a second hike in metro fares.

“The Delhi government is very serious about disallowing a second fare hike right now. The managing director of DMRC is the government’s nominee. So, he too should voice our views as is expected from other government nominees of the board,” he told.

In what could escalate the ongoing confrontation between the Aam Aadmi Party government and the DRMC, the minister further said, “If the need may arise, where it is found that no effort is being made by him to stop the fare hike, the government will consider removal of the MD.”

Below is the letter 

After the first hike in May, metro rides are set to get costlier by up to Rs 10 for those who travel over two kilometers. This has been vehemently opposed by the Delhi government over the past week.

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A metro official who is not authorized to speak to the media said that as of Thursday evening, the hike was scheduled to be implemented on Tuesday.

Even as there is no decision on a fresh board meeting so far, the transport minister asked chief secretary MM Kutty to tell the four other government-nominated directors on the metro board to aggressively oppose the fare hike.

 Apart from the MD, these directors include the chief secretary, commissioner (transport), principal secretary (finance) and retired IAS officer Ramesh Chandra.

“It is directed that a meeting of all government-nominated directors, including the DMRC’s MD, be convened by you with a view to direct them to aggressively put up the stand of Delhi government against the proposed fare hike,” Gahlot said in the directive to Kutty.

He asked the chief secretary to submit a report on the action taken on these points by 12 pm on Friday.

The Centre and Delhi government have a share of 50% each in the DMRC. While the chairman of its board is always the secretary of the ministry of housing and urban affairs, its MD is appointed by the Delhi government.

Singh’s tenure as DMRC MD was extended by the Aam Aadmi Party government in December last year.

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Meanwhile, Kutty, transport commissioner Varsha Joshi and principal secretary (finance) SN Sahai have already written to the directors, demanding a board meeting before October 10.

“We, the directors, further request the DMRC not to implement the proposed fare hike till the board meeting is held, else the Board meeting will become infructuous,” the letter sent by the three officers read.

Sourece: HT